Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Mercoledi Musciale

One of the items I was translating today for Ballet2000 was a review of Matthew Bourne's new ballet based on Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Based on the critique I was working on I've added it to my list of things I'd love to see.

In the meantime it reminded me of the 1945 version of Wilde's story of the degenerate young man who never grew old, as his portrait hidden in the attic reflected the degradation of its subject. Though no one knew it at the time it was a landmark as it was the first time that a 19 year old Angela Lansbury sang in a film. It gave little hint of what was to come in the next 70 years.

Who could have predicted that little Sybil Vane would one day become one of the most powerful producers in television and the winner of 5 Tony Awards. Today at 84 she is performing 8 shows a week on Broadway as Madame Arcati in a revival of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit.

Last month John Lahr sat down with her at the New Yorker and recorded a marvelous interview which can be viewed here. God I adore that woman!

05 agosto - Dedicazione della basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
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Elizabeth said...

What a great clip! And what a great life! That's how I want to live mine, busy and creative till the end. Can't wait to read the interview later.

Will said...

I was extremely fortunate to see her as Rose in Gypsy. I had seen Ethel Merman in the original and Lansbury couldn't have been more different.

Merman was a force of nature. All she had to do was unleash that voice and any opposition crumbled before her. It wasn't so much acting as knowing which of her powers to assemble into a characterization. Lansbury was toxic, dangerous, a woman so determined, so dangerously focused that you wanted to spray something on her to keep her from spreading. Psychologically, Lansbury had Rose nailed, and her singing was ripe with emotion and sgtrength.


shes amazing..i like the fact that when her kids started acting up she packed them off and took them to ireland to live ..ha..and she never won a emmy for all those tv shows...